Holy Week and Easter Holiday Week are not synonymous. The hubbub of the holiday often hides the holy. All the egg hunts, chocolate bunnies, special lunches, great sales, new outfits, pastel Peeps, cute crafts, and jam-packed church services can crowd out the risen Christ. Your company doesn’t give you a day off so you spend Maundy Thursday and Good Friday evenings frantically shopping and baking and coordinating instead of preparing your heart.
And if you lead at a church or ministry? Not much better. Months of planning, last-minute changes to implement, pressure to make it the “best Easter ever!”, traditions to uphold, people to please, sugar-crazed children to corral, and insane work schedules are hard on the leader’s soul. Helping everyone else experience the sacrifice of our Savior and the reality of His resurrection can sometimes lead to feelings of emptiness and guilt for missing Him yourself.
So what’s a leader to do? The following are 4 Ways Leaders can bring the “holy” back to Holy Week:
- Simplify your schedule. Say no to attending three Easter egg hunts in one day. Say no to spending the whole week working on your infamous fifteen course brunch. Say no to adding those eleven labor-intensive details into the worship service that nobody will notice but your family because you have to work all night to make it happen. *Sigh.* Simplify your schedule and make some space for connecting with the King of Kings.
- Soak in silence. Turn off your email alert. Silence your phone. Stop talking/meeting/listing. Simply sit in silence for a few minutes each day. Stop doing and just be. Be fully present in the presence of your Savior. Be listening for the Holy Spirit’s whisper. Be still.
- Slowly read Scripture. Read a different translation or listen to the audio version of the familiar story to bring a fresh account. Imagine what it was like to be one of the women witnessing the crucifixion or rejoicing at the resurrection. Meditate on one of the following passages: Matthew 26-28, Mark 14-16, Luke 22-24, John 18-20.
- Say thank you. You can count your blessings in a gratitude journal. You can sing your heart out making someone else’s words your song of thanks. Or simply make “Thank You” your breath prayer for the week. Saying “thank you” shifts your perspective and lifts your eyes to meet His.
What about you leader friend? What ways have you found to care for your soul during Holy Week?Julie Pierce is passionate about two things: empowering leaders to change the world and pursuing pie perfection. Julie is a leadership coach, consultant and communicator. Sign up here to receive her posts and Friday Favorites in your inbox. You can also follow her on Twitter and Pinterest.